Just a short way away from Philadelphia, West Chester is a bustling yet friendly town in eastern Pennsylvania that holds a number of attractions, including Longwood Gardens, Valley Forge, and Brandywine Battlefield. After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll need to find somewhere to grab a good meal and relax so here’s our list of the ten best restaurants in West Chester, PA.
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Though Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has many locations throughout the tri-state area, their West Chester branch is always an excellent choice to enjoy Iron Hill’s varied beer selection and delicious pub food. Try one of their house-brewed beers like Iron Hill Light Lager, Pig Iron Porter, or Vienna Red Lager, but always be sure to check which beers are currently on tap at which location, as they’re always subject to change due to season and availability. Alongside your beer, snack on some cheese-steak egg rolls and bacon-wrapped scallops, and try the fish and chips for your main course.
The Couch Tomato Café
With two locations, one in West Chester and one in Manayunk, the cozy Couch Tomato Café has been serving up comfort food in a homely environment since 2003. Couch Tomato’s biggest goal is to use hormone-free, organic and local food to create natural, fresh food that tastes good and is healthy too. Couch Tomato has a relaxed atmosphere, and you can now order online at either location. So, head to their website and order an apple BLT or a BBQ pizza to go.
High Street Caffé
Serving up ‘the best Cajun experience this side of the Bayou,’ High Street Caffé is a favorite among West Chester locals. High Street has been making Cajun cuisine for almost 20 years and does it so well that they’ve been voted ‘Best of the Main Line for Creole & Cajun Food’ for ten years in a row. From Sundays through Thursdays, High Street offers a $35 per person prix-fixe menu, allowing you to choose any three items. Pick from classic Cajun options like chicken and andouille gumbo, alligator sausage, or crawfish étoufée, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to New Orleans.
If you’re looking for a traditional Italian meal in a relaxed atmosphere, look no further than Limoncello Ristorante, which has won numerous ‘best of’ awards in the West Chester area. Enjoy complimentary bruschetta upon your order, and choose from delicious starters like calamari fritti and polpette and delectable entrées like penne alla vodka and eggplant parmigiana. Be sure to make a reservation, particularly on weekends, as Limoncello can get quite crowded, and if you’re craving Italian before dinnertime, stop by for their lunch buffet or for their ‘happier hour.’
Spence 312 is dedicated to creating fresh and delicious meals by using sustainable, natural and local ingredients whenever possible. Spence 312’s space also has quite the history, stationed near West Chester’s Gay Street, 312 S. High Street was once home to the Spence family’s café, which they ran from 1849-1910. Today, it stands a reminder of the Spence family’s historic restaurant empire and works to serve the freshest seafood and meat dishes that honor the Spence legacy. Be sure to keep in mind that Spence 312 is a BYOB, meaning ‘bring your own bottle,’; this gives you the freedom to take along a fantastic bottle of wine to complement anything, from their Spence clam bake to their steak fritz.
i-Pasta is a versatile experience with made-to-order pasta dishes using your choice of pasta, sauce, and everything in between. Your food may take a little longer than it does at other restaurants, but rest assured the reason is because they make every single thing in the restaurant from scratch so that their pasta is as authentic as possible. Choose your pasta shape to start, from tonnarelli to maccheroni, and then choose a sauce or style, like ragu alla bolognese or pasta puttanesca. They also offer a simpler kids’ menu, so you can bring the entire family.
If you’re looking for classic, farm-to-table American cuisine, Roots Cafe is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. With an ethos committed to sustainable everything, from the food to the takeout containers, Roots Cafe is as green as can be. They also make nearly every item in the restaurant from scratch so they know exactly what goes into each meal, including ingredients sourced from local farms. Try the Farm at Doe Run Cheese Board to taste locally crafted cheeses alongside all-natural accompaniments. Stop by for breakfast or lunch too as Roots Cafe is good at any time of day.
Four Dogs Tavern
Though Four Dogs Tavern is just a few miles outside of West Chester, it has remained a destination for West Chester residents since its opening in 1996. The building has been around since the road it’s on, Strasburg Road, was the major pass-through between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and was once the stable for the Marshallton Inn. Now, instead of housing horses, this building serves up American brasserie cuisine that’s locally sourced and organic whenever possible, including fondue pots for a group, wild burgundy snails, and house-made gnocchi. Bear in mind that they only accept reservations for parties of eight people or more.
The name Teca is inspired by two very different Italian concepts, paninoteca, meaning ‘panini bar,’ and enoteca, meaning ‘wine bar’; therefore, Teca serves light, small plate-style Italian fare alongside an extensive, exciting wine list. Though they also serve larger main courses, Teca’s specialty is Italian tapas, so indulge in different types of bruschette from pomodoro to salmone or different cheeses like gorgonzola dolce and pecorino al tartufo. Try a wonderfully varied selection of wines from their list as well, which, of course, focuses on Italian imports and offerings but don’t miss their extremely creative cocktail list.
La Baguette Magique
Though La Baguette Magique is primarily known for its incredible French bread selection, this spot is also a great place for breakfast and lunch. Their baguettes are made according to traditional French methods and are all baked from scratch in-house to ensure authenticity. Aside from those, enjoy salads, soups, pastries, and tarts. They don’t post a menu online because their ingredients change frequently, so you’ll simply have to stop in and see what their daily offerings are, but, of course, be sure to grab a baguette to take home on your way out!
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